Fast Motorcycle Industry News

fastnewscyrilhuzeblog2[1]A reliable source tells me that Big Dog Motorcycles had a new large layoff on Monday. As you remember the company stopped production of new bikes back in August, then started again production in October for two weeks then stopped for the undetermined future. I also learned that the company attorney has left – This coming week Harley-Davidson will begin the process of selling MV Agusta the Italian manufacturer that they bought for 70 million euros only 14 months ago. The 2 interesting parts of the story are: 1- that Claudio Castiglioni, MV Agusta former owner, wants to give his opinion on the potential buyers. And current MV Augusta Chairman supports his request. Does it mean that Castiglioni would like to buy the company with the help of new investors? I think so. 2- It seems that there is already a line-up of investors and manufacturers ready to bid to acquire the Italian manufacturer. Will Harley make a profit on the sale? I think so, too. And the dollar being lower against the euro than 1 year ago it will boost the potential profit –

Zipper's

46 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”


  1. 1 fuji Nov 13th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    It does make MV more sellable as HD absorbed and cleared the debt on the books before the purchase.

    Proton rescued Agusta several years [ maybe 2005 } ago by pumping 70 million euros ($83 million) into the struggling firm, allowing it to pay off its debts,

    All of this just skims the surface of what has transpired inside MV over the years.

    Claudio Castiglioni, MV Agusta former owner, wants to give his opinion on the potential buyers. My first pick when someone has you by the nads.

    The Chinese bought Bennelli could MV be their next.

  2. 2 Jed Nov 13th, 2009 at 11:39 am

    MV is an excellent product mismanaged by Italians. The reason H-D’s ownership was so exciting was because of American management, distribution and marketing with Italian design and engineering. To sell MV back to Italian ownership would, in my opinion, be a mistake. Besides, why would you want a company back in the hands of the man who was forced to sell it?

    Take Ducati for example. Excellent product, even more excellent marketing and seemingly stronger when owned (it seems to change hands as often as a hot potato) by non-Italians. No question the Italians are superior when it comes to design and performance but management…?

    Another comment: with regard to marketing, MV is getting spanked by Ducati, its most obvious competitor. MV would need to step this up enormously if they want to become a serious contender and not just some esoteric brand resting on its past glory. Combine its glorious history with its incredible performance, add some sex to it (a la Ducati) and make it a household name.

    For now though, it’s sad to see such a remarkable brand/product getting this kind of treatment.

  3. 3 Brenda Fox Nov 13th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    The Chinese owning Benelli is such a Buzz Kill… worse than finding out my fancy designer purses are made overseas, however I agree with you Jed that the Italian strength is in design and pretty weak in management. I did a ride test on Tornado Tre 1130 and what a kick ass bike that is.

    I also agree thats its sad to see an awesome bike like MV going thru the spin cycle.

  4. 4 nicker Nov 13th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Well, exactly what stellar Management move qualifies HD to pull the MV “fat out of the fire”…..???

    And if China can bring back the Benelli “egg” motor…. well, good on em. I need parts…….. 🙂

    -nicker-

  5. 5 Jeff Nicklus Nov 13th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Now before all the hate mail starts against me please note that I am asking a legitimate question here and I am not trying to bash Big Dog or anyone who works there.

    Question:

    If Big Dog, by their own admission, has stopped production for the foreseeable future who is there remaining to lay off ….. plant personnel should have already be gone. So does this most recent lay-off include office staff, sales people, truck drivers, janitors, who? Also the attorney who has left the company was the guy who took Nick’s place, if I am not mistaken …… ??????

    This thinning of the “herd” crap is starting to suck more and more every day! At this rate there may be no “herd” remaining by the time this economy comes back! This change crap isn’t working out so well now is it ? I know it is Bush’s Fault!

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  6. 6 Bike Lover Nov 13th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    This recent lay off from Big Dog included the VP of Production, Service Manager, a 15 year salesman, Delivery Manager and other long time employees. The attorney that quit is the one that replaced Nick Messer.

  7. 7 Bike Lover Nov 13th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    They also cut the Marketing Manager a couple weeks ago.

  8. 8 Jeff Nicklus Nov 13th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Bike Lover,

    Wow, that doesn’t leave many. That does suck.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  9. 9 fuji Nov 13th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    So what yall are sayen is that the next cut comes at the wrist. Thats not good.

  10. 10 Joey Nov 13th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    A harley clone company can’t survive because there is nothing left to clone. I bet Big Dog will close very soon because nobody will lend or invest a penny in it. Big Dog, AIH, Desperado, etc were just making a living sucking Harley, the good custom builders and never created anything new. Just copying with aftermarkey catalog parts. The end has come.

  11. 11 Jeff Nicklus Nov 13th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Joey,

    Your head is so far up your ass you can only see crap. Harley could only wish they could keep up with the research and development that we (Desperado, Big Dog, Bourget and many otheres) have brought to the table. Harleys saving grace was the same as OCC’s …. t-shirts. They haven’t had a good original idea in 30 years. Oh the V-Rod was a good one huh! Hell you wouldn’t have a 6 speed trans, staimless steel rotors, kevlar clutches, billet wheels or billet anything for that matter, hell a Harley frame still has Cast Iron necks on their frames ….. PLEEEEZE! Oh yes, Harley are the state of the art bike no doubt.

    Go suck on your cheap beer and shut up.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  12. 12 fuji Nov 13th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Jeff Nicklus .
    Man, can’t leave you alone two minutes.

    AMAZING ! How many Joeys are out there. I call them owners of loose lips with idle minds.

  13. 13 Jeff Nicklus Nov 13th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    FUGI,

    I didn’t mean to explode on Joey but I have no friggin tolerance for stupidity and this boy is dumber than a rock if he believe the crap he was spewing. I HATE THE WORD CLONE! I have never built a bike that resembles a Harley Davidson nor have I ever used a Harley part on one of my bikes ever and I never will. Come on some of you idiots come back with the V-Twin bullshit …. I can hardly wait.

    Screw it I am going to Vegas and Pomona for a few days and forget about the Joey’s of the world.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  14. 14 Troy Nov 13th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Jeff,
    I am very disappointed in you. I never thought you would start sugar coating your posts. Come on dude….step it up, I know what you are thinking!

  15. 15 Jeff Nicklus Nov 13th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Troy,

    I know I am slowing down and getting more mellow in my old age I suppose.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  16. 16 1550tc Nov 13th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Jeff you sound like you need help with the pieces to your BIG DOG puzzle or is it a BIG DOG Rubik’s Cube and your ready to smash it??

    This recent lay off from Big Dog included the VP of Production, Service Manager, a 15 year salesman, ok is this John Nasi

    The attorney that quit is the one that replaced Nick Messer. ok

    They also cut the Marketing Manager a couple weeks ago..Paul ??

    Jeff from what i read above it seems that 2 more key guys are gone…… John Nasi and Paul in marketing???……to me John Nasi was Big Dog, The guy is a great Rep, seen him at a dealer open house in 05, the guy is good wont be unemployed for long I think. The Nasi boys have V twins in their blood!! Jimmy is probably the least non ego maniacal guy in the industry!

    Nick had a good ride and he was the first rat to leave to a sinking ship LOL, fun guy!

    Jeff its sad but when your #1 in tuff times it always gets ugly :), just some lifelong GM dealers.

  17. 17 Brenda Fox Nov 13th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    ^^ Hey
    What’s up with the talk about John Nasi being nuked?
    I just spoke to him about doing an editorial feature and he’s still l there.

  18. 18 1550tc Nov 13th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Brenda

    a 15 year salesman, ok is this John Nasi

    i was asking if it was John and thank you for the reply

  19. 19 Brenda Fox Nov 13th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Welcome : )

    Nasi boys are awesome.
    I have no clue who there 15year sales guy is/was – but not to fret, John’s not gone yet.

  20. 20 Conrad Nicklus Nov 13th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    If this were Facebook I would have to press the DISLIKE button for Mrs Brendas comment above.

    …..”I have no clue who there 15year sales guy is/was – but not to fret, John’s not gone yet.”…..

    SHITTTT, I thought I had won that battle for a minute too. Well I would say best bet is on the next set of lay offs that “name” will no longer be on the employment list.

    Jim Nasi is awesome though, if that helps cool the other brother down when he reads this. 🙂

    Have a great weekend everyone lol

  21. 21 Jed Nov 13th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Fuji,

    Can you post a link to Tamburini’s open letter re: his departure from H-D owned MV? I’d love to hear his side of the story.

    Thanks

  22. 22 Bike Lover Nov 13th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    The 15 year salesman was Tim O’Laughlin and yes the Marketing Manager was Paul.

  23. 23 A$$HOLE Nov 14th, 2009 at 3:48 am

    The production VP was never a really good fit for the company or the motorcycle culture. The marketing mgr should have been gone years ago. He spent too much time concentrating on squeezing himself into undersized shirts. The rest of the marketing department should have gone as well. Before this last lay off there was about 95 employees left. The last I heard they were going to go two weeks on, two weeks off, two on through the end of the year. I am sure that will change a dozen times before the year’s out. No one was ever brought in to replace Nick Messer. The remaining members of the 6 pack were assigned portions of his responsibilitites, in addition to their jobs. The atty was a nice guy, but not a good fit with the culture. The service Mgr was a putz who defaulted into the job. In my opinion he was a bit shady as well. Too bad to hear, as there ae some good friends still there.

  24. 24 stephen Nov 14th, 2009 at 6:47 am

    What ever you think about Big Dog, it is a great shame to see manufacturers going broke.

    As we would say here in Australia it is the little guys that keep the bastards honest. The industry needs the Big Dog, AIH, Desperado, Ness and others not only to push the envelope but to drive innovation. In turn the smaller manufacturers get pushed by the one off custom builders and in turn they are kept honest.

  25. 25 Cade Nov 14th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    It’s all about CHANGE you numb nuts voted for. It’s like a snowball rollin towards hell and it’s picking up speed everyday.

  26. 26 1550tc Nov 14th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Brenda

    I was going thru some files/pictures and came across a few of you

    Can i thru your website email you a picture of Micheal L taking your picture in sturgis back in 07 or ??? and i also had one of you and Sugar Bear…….the one Micheal is cool as it shows him doing what he does so good, i felt like the student photgraphing the teacher

  27. 27 mbofill Nov 14th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    joey you suck buttermilk! harleys are great bikes but it takes great craftmanship to build awsome custom choppers and bikes. it takes such skill and talent which is obvious you lack. or the whole thing wouldnt bother you in the first place get a real life sucker!

  28. 28 Brenda Fox Nov 14th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    1550tc – Absolutely!

    Would love that.
    Michael Lichter’s work is so awesome and as for my riding buddy – Sugar Bear gotta have that!

    thanks!

    http://www.womenmotorcyclist.com

  29. 29 Don Nov 14th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Again to comment on John being gone — he is not and yes it was Tim O”laughlin. The attorney was Doug Stuhlsatz, who got a very good job offer in the aircraft industry where he came from. Yes the motorcycle industry is in tough shape now just like construction and others, but it does not help to bash everyone and everything out there. Maybe if we concentrate on the things that are going right we might not be seeing the the current problems.

  30. 30 The Truth Nov 14th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    The story is accurate, minus a couple of things. The layoff wasn’t a layoff, it was called a furlough. But there are no plans to bring anyone back. It occurred on Wednesday and Thursday, not Monday. Doug Stuhlsatz did leave, but it was by his own choice and although he does have a law degree he was not “the company’s attorney”. The company uses attorneys via consulting, Stuhlsatz never actually practiced law on behalf of the company in a courtroom. He was more like a company President than anything. He was never a good fit; he had neither the experience in the motorcycle industry (he’s not a rider) nor did he have experience running a company, either of which would have helped him do his job better. He really should have resigned 2 years ago when it was clear he was in over his head.

    Yes, Paul Hansen was removed as Marketing Manager, something that also should have happened 2 years ago. Paul is a very nice guy, but he was also in over his head. He wasn’t educated or experienced enough to lead a marketing department for a company of Big Dog’s size.

    John Nasi is still at BDM. It was the “Sales Manager”, Tim O’Laughlin, that was furloughed. Again, a very nice guy but not a real sales manager.

    The problem with BDM is two-fold. First, Sheldon Coleman does not know who his customers are. He builds motorcycles for people like himself, rich people. He thinks his customers are CEO’s, attorneys, doctors, etc. They are not. Big Dog shoppers are everyday people and common folk. People like us. People like us are not going out and spending $40k – $50k on motorcycles right now. The new Bulldog bagger is a good looking bike, but it costs $50k fully loaded. Very few people are buying that bike. The Pitbull, though it has great classic looks, did not sell well and the company produced way too many of them. Both of those bikes were built because the dealers said they could sell them. Sheldon needs to quit listening to what BDM’s dealers have to say and start listening to what the customers have to say. The Wolf is another example of a great looking bike that was built at the wrong time.

    The second major problem at the company is that they do not go out and hire people who understand the motorcycle industry, nor do they hire “professionals”. People are promoted to their level of incompetency, but then they are allowed to remain in those positions for far too long. There are plenty of examples of other companies that have failed because of this very same reason. Sales and marketing are crucial for any company to survive so you must have people leading those divisions who know what they are doing. Big Dog did not, nor did it have anyone leading the entire company who knew what they were doing.

    Another problem is that Sheldon does not like to have people on his team who disagree with him. Conflict is what drives progress, if you do not at least consider other people’s opinions than you had better be an accomplished expert yourself. Sheldon is not. All of the decisions are Sheldon’s decisions and we’ve all watched over the years as the company has made one bad decision after another. Most of the times there were dissenting voices and plenty of people can today say “I told you so”. Of course, those people no longer work at Big Dog.

    Word on the street is that it is bankers now making the decisions as to how the money is spent. If that is true than it is very possible that the company has already filed Chapter 11. It is a private company so that news does not have to be released to the public by the company. I would think, however, that someone at a local news agency would have already broke that story, as all bankruptcy filings are public record and printed in the local newspaper. Surely news agencies pay someone to look through those records for this type of information. Just in case they do not, I am going to look through them myself and see if the truth is out there.

    My source tells me the company is still open for business but is not currently producing new motorcycles. He says that a lot of the employees have been told to remain confident about the company’s future, but that the people telling them to do that are not themselves confident. There are now around 65 people working there including both production and non-production. The new “President” is John Brock. He is at least a rider but has no experience running a company. Since the “furlough” was announced a few other employees have resigned and moved on. From all indications it appears that management is lying to the employees and has already begun preparations to close the company. Smart employees are going to start jumping ship. Eventually paychecks will start bouncing and that will be the end of it. That’s just my opinion, but we’ve all seen this happen before and this company is following the same path that others have. It’s unfortunate. The economy has certainly been the catalyst for the downfall of Big Dog, but they need only look internally to figure out why things did not work.

    Over and out.

  31. 31 1550tc Nov 14th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Brenda

    whats the email addy iam a road warrior this weekend and dont want to go thru the whole login process right now

    their shot at hi resolution so u can blow them up if you want

    stephen

    i like how you put it :)….its a dog eat dog world lol so dont wear milk bone under wear

    right after colemans’s money John Nasi is big dog!!

    Why him and Jim dont team up is ???? to me.

    I dont know their personalities BUT if Jim, John and micheal Prugh and Shawna could all work together under 1 roof or 4 laptops LOL………..they could make and have one heck of company in the industry!!

  32. 32 Shifter Nov 14th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Before it’s too late, Cyril Huze for President. Evidently he knows very well bikes and has a very sharp marketing and advertising background.

  33. 33 V-Twin Nov 14th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    ” The Truth” is 100% Accurate on his statement about the Big Dog Company.

  34. 34 A$$HOLE Nov 14th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Doug S at BDM was a VP of Administration. He never acted as a lawyer in a courtroom. He evaluated procedures and paperwork. John Brock is by far the most competent leader they have ever had. I worked under John for years, and he has an amazing understanding of the motorcycle industry as well as the fundamentals of business. John should have been moved up sooner, but hind sight is 20/20. I would love to see the company rebound under the direction of Jonh Brock, as I cannot imagine a more deserving administrator. I know it will take more than a shuffle in administration to save a company, but if anyone can do it, John Brock can.

  35. 35 nicker Nov 14th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    A$$-

    RE:
    “… it will take more than a shuffle in administration to save a company, but if anyone can do it, John Brock can….”

    Well, John may be a great guy, but without a market no one can save a company.
    Regardless of management issues, the problem is simply this:

    – When will the “hay-day-market” for production customs come back…?
    – “IF” it does come back, how robust will it be? (and if it doesn’t)…..
    – Can an organization be restructured to target what ever niche markets are left? (and/or)…?
    – Is management savvy enough to come up with a different product to target the new reality…?

    Given the economy, boomer demographics, and how the financial markets are shaking out, it doesn’t take an economist to figure our that consumer spending will be way more constrained than it’s been.

    -nicker-

  36. 36 Bigalyts Nov 14th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    “Show Me The Math” ! That should be the new Economic Statement. M V Agusta, EGO Purchase or Can You Make any Money in Our Life Time???? If MV Agusta could Build Production to 10,000 Bikes and they Sold them for $30,000 to their Dealer Network……….. So this is what I Figure……….10,000 Bikes and $30,000 each comes to $30 Million. Now here comes the question For a Perfect Corporate Profit with all the I’s and T’s dotted and crossed, and there is a 20% Profit Structure and that means $6 Million Gross Profit . This means 20 Years to pay back the selling Price. That is with No Intrest on the $100 million Purchase Price and so on and so on………. MV Agusta is a Fricken “Smoke and Mirror Deal” a Billionaire’s Play Toy! Roger Penske is not intrested in this DEAL either!

  37. 37 emonat Nov 14th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    “So this is what I Figure……….10,000 Bikes and $30,000 each comes to $30 Million”

    You need to figure again – 10,000 x 30,000 = $300,000,000.

  38. 38 Brandon Nov 14th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Yep, Bigalyts. It’s 300 million. LOL. I hope you don’t own your own business or are an accountant. LOL. And for your information it is pretty usual that a business is sold for 3 to 7 times it’s annual billing. And harley paid 70 million to buy MV Agusta, not 100 million. It was a pretty cheap paid price. As Cyril mentioned Harley is probably going to make money when it is sold. Bigalyts, for Christmas, ask for a calculator. Ok?

  39. 39 A$$HOLE Nov 15th, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Nicker,
    Thia pretty much what I am saying. The market will ake years to correct, and may never return to what it once was. All I was saying is that John Brock is about the best businessman BDM has seen, that is all. I am not saying John will save the company. I believe I stated something to that effect. Didn’t I. I was just giving John his props.

  40. 40 nicker Nov 15th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    A$$-

    Sure, …….. i didn’t question John’s credentials.
    When you said “he has an amazing understanding of the motorcycle industry” i interpreted that in the context of this blog, which means “v-twin custom” industry.

    My point was simply that a bunch-a very “iffy” stuff is gonna have to happen before any brilliance can be applied to save BD…… or any other production V-twin custom Mfg.

    Moreover, as i see it, even with the return of economic stability, it’ll be a Looooong time before Joe-six-pack is gonna be able to (or want to) use a home equity loan to buy ANY $40K toy (bike, boat, etc.).

    I think the market for production customs will fundamentally change.
    To recover anything but a niche play, an MC company will have to open up a much larger portion of the consumer public.

    When gas gets up to European prices, the market for small 2-wheelrer will really open up.
    Perhaps BD could turn into a motor-scooter company….. 🙂

    -nicker-

  41. 41 1550tc Nov 15th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    The TRUTH

    Big Dog shoppers are everyday people and common folk. People like us.

    ok put down the crack pipe and step back from the keyboard or did Bigalyts bang you on the head with his crummy calculator??

    Read this statement slowly a few times

    Big Dog shoppers are everyday people and common folk Ok
    Big Dog shoppers are everyday people and common folk

    you tell me what sane everyday 9-5 hourly wage guy, is going to step up and buy a basic bar hopper for 25-30k and with that bar hopper how much of the real RIDING, trips ect is he really going to be able to do with a bar hopper?? There is more to life on bike than riding to Loli Pops or the Spearmint Rhino for a few lap dances 🙂

    Bdm customers I saw during 01-07 were guys who had an hd and wanted something to show that they were anything but

    we were on a 10,000 mile trip last summer and thru some states ( MN WI IL ID TN SC NC VA AL LA FL GA ect) some where u can ride year round pretty much and i can count on one hand the BDM AIM we passed or saw on the road. Even in strugis the number of these bikes on the wasn’t much and hey i know rallys #s are down, but still not many bdm’s

    Sheldon was right dude, rich dudes, posers and guys that ride less than 3000 miles a year if that, were buying these bikes.

    Personally i work too hard for my $$ and ride too many miles to have such a niche bike!

    BDM rode a good wave and sad to say it, but it came crashing down real hard. Just ask HD what sales of their Rocker are like?? and HD has what 750 dealers?

  42. 42 Sharpo Nov 16th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Interesting, I find it hard to beleive that Sheldon would back out of BDM right now. There was a round of layoffs last Tuesday, but that does not mean that they are closing. They are still selling bikes and they are still building bikes as well. Does this mean that Harley Davidson is closing? They have laid off several thousand employees and closed factories. The CEO of Yamaha resigned last week because of slow sales and big losses. Does this mean that Yamaha is closing? BDM did what every other company is doing. From cars to motorcycles to everything else that is being manufactured the economy is not holding up. The lay-offs at BD were justified due to the ecomomy. Think the reamining employees will do what it takes to survive. Sheldon did last week what he should have done a year ago. I think they are finally were they need to be with the amount of employees that they have now.

    Good Luck BDM. We are with you.

    Sharpo

  43. 43 Conrad Nicklus Nov 18th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Dumb dumb dumb…close the doors close the doors!!!!!!! ” furlough” “persist” “layoff” “broke” Sheldon Coleman rich”….all these words and statements means nothing but the ultimate guide to A FAILIGN BUSINESS DUE TO THE ECONOMY NOT DUE TO WHO IS IN THE COMPANY. BDM was rocking just like we were until the economy went South. Ya’ll wanted “change” you got it right on the front of your damn foreheads.

    Congrats.

    Conrad

  44. 44 Paul Nov 19th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    When they finally write BDM’s epitaph, it should be said that managerial hubris and a bad business model hurt but the tight credit market killed.

    With that being said, after reading many of these posts it seems like the people who were in the trenches are taking most of the lumps for BDM’s apparent failure. I disagree with that. Most of the blame for this should be laid at the feet of Sheldon Coleman.

    First, Sheldon should have known that a fad is not a business model unless you are only interested in a year’s worth of success. That was the first trap BDM fell into and, unfortunately, every chopper they sold reinforced this notion that the market for these niche bikes was unlimited.

    Second, Sheldon was obsessed with expansion. For him it was more factory space, more models and more marketing. Any person who has any knowledge of business knows that over expansion is one of the biggest killers of start-up operations. Instead of a gradual and controlled expansion, he went wild and pushed for more models and style over substance. I think it pretty well known throughout the business that BDM were not the most reliable machines on the road. It would be hard to estimate the millions that were spent fixing bikes because of the rushed production and bad engineering practices. And this was due to Sheldon’s push to move more units out the door.

    Third, Sheldon, for the time I knew him, was clearly convinced his opinion was beyond questioning. And his early success only fueled that trait. While he was “the boss,” and in many respects a good boss, there were many people who warned him about these issues for a long time. Sometimes a good idea is a good idea even if it is not yours.

    There were a lot of good people who worked at BDM. They worked hard and did their best for the company. It is unfortunate that these issues were compounded with a severe recession that may end up with the company in bankruptcy. And for those who think it will be tough on the monied interests behind this private company, remember BDM is a limited liability company.

  45. 45 A Dealer's Perspective Nov 19th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    It is so easy for people who love Big Dog Motorcycles to point the finger at management, sales, marketing, the dealers, etc. It is the economy, stupid! A company that sells high end niche motorcycles can not survive if banks don’t lend and flooring companies don’t finance. We have had several buyers turned away, even with high credit scores, due to the tight lending practices. We have stricter flooring programs from BDM and the banks, so even if inventory was turning faster, it’s tough to replace the bikes. Sure, there were mistakes along the way in what bikes, when they came out, and all that jazz. But the people there are solid. Different from some of you, I’ll miss Tim. He’s a stand-up guy who knew the bikes, was honest, and always provided great service to the dealers. Hansen started with nothing when he came on board and gave us dealers so much to work with like boobie commercials and some solid programs. My other lines don’t offer near what BDM did in marketing. I hate to see both of them go.

    Sheldon is sharp. The only bad decision in years past was getting rid of Nick. Without Nick, the face to the dealers was gone. Nasi is a good face; Hansen was a good face… but neither had the presence of Nick to the dealers. We never had a level of confidence from Doug or the others after he left. Nick would have done a better job rallying the troops to fight the battle.

    I think the 6 pack, 4 pack, 2 pack, whatever did fine. I never have met John Brock, but hear good things. Never met Bob Brown, but heard good things. Doug was a mistake. Sharp, sure, but over his head in sales and marketing… Never sold a bike, rode a bike, or visited dealers. Again, Nasi and Hansen could have run that area of the company very well. .But overall the people were good, intentions are great… the bankers? Not quite as a favorable opinion. I wish the best for the remaining 65 or so to get through it.

    We all just wait for the economy to turn around and, hopefully BDM will be there with us.

  46. 46 Conrad Nicklus Nov 24th, 2009 at 2:12 am

    ADP,

    Well, for starters, floorplan set ups are bullshit and will make just about any company go under once an economy struggles. There is something about a company that sells high end products and relies on dealers to get a floor plan that is not right. All of our dealers pay cash for their bikes and once the bike is finished it belongs to them and will never return to us. On another note, I HOPE Big Dog will not be there once all is said and done. Too much brouhaha has come from some of their staff to allow them to be trusted in the market place, if you read between the lines and are on here often you will know what I am talking about. Liars and scumbags should not be tolerated in our industry.

    But then again I am very bitter towards a few of Big Dogs employees who are extremely trashy and unprofessional. But that is just me even though I know many others feel the same about the certain individuals as I do.

    Conrad Nicklus

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